Ladies Inn Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji. Let us first of all just appreciate how adorable the name of the guesthouse is, incorporating usagi, meaning rabbit, and momiji, meaning autumn leaves. This guesthouse is by far the best accommodation I have ever found online. It is clean, comfortable and convenient.
Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji is a two-storied accommodation run by Sugahara-san, a kind and welcoming Japanese lady. Sugahara-san is multilingual and able to speak Japanese, English, and Mandarin Chinese, so any questions you have about Kyoto or life in general can be answered with ease. In fact, if you are interested in practising your Japanese, or want to pick up some useful phrases, Sugahara-san is the best resource any guesthouse in Kyoto can offer.
The guesthouse can accommodate 15 women, and has four-people dorms, twin rooms with extra beds, and Japanese tatami rooms. All rooms are on the second floor, and have good lighting, air conditioning, and sufficient storage space. There are two bathrooms and one shower room on the first floor for everyone to share, as well as sinks on both floors.
Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji’s location could not be more convenient. For visitors arriving by train, the nearest train station is Tofukuji Station, which is quite literally less than 100m away from the guesthouse. Alternatively, you can arrive by bus at the Tofukuji bus stop, which is more or less 100m away. Lastly, if you decide to take the Willer Express day bus from Tokyo Shinjuku Station like I did, the guesthouse is a 15-minute-walk through local neighborhoods from Hotel Centnovum, where the bus stops in Kyoto. And food-wise, you will not go hungry for snacks, as there is a FamilyMart, a konbini or convenience store, located right at the entrance of Tofukuji Station.
The entrance to Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji is somewhat easily overlooked, and I admit I spent a while trying to locate it, walking straight past a few times while cursing Google Maps. To locate the entrance door to Usagi-Momiji, look for a restaurant with bright red lanterns and a red storefront, and the guesthouse will be sandwiched on its right-hand side.
Staying at Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji was similar to staying at a second home. Sugahara-san was extremely friendly and she would always be socialising with guests or enjoying some television in the living room. In the morning, Sugahara-san sometimes prepares freshly baked bread made from her magical bread maker for those who can wake up early enough for breakfast. So definitely do not miss out on some warm delicious bread. The guesthouse is also equipped with a selection of guidebooks highlighting Kyoto and other must-visits of Japan that guests are free to flip through.
Choosing to stay at Guesthouse Usagi-Momiji was the perfect choice, and I am certain that if I ever do return to Kyoto I will be hunting for a bed at Usagi-Momiji.
An added bonus: Sugahara-san supplies pink Rilakkuma toilet paper. How awesome is that? You can tell it is popular with the ladies staying there because it always gets used up the fastest. So really, what is there not to love about this guesthouse?